PETALING JAYA: Was former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz really in the dark over the RM2.6 billion wired to former prime minister Najib Razak’s personal account? Or did she know all about it?
That’s the question that has arisen following a stunning revelation that her family members had received money from 1MDB funds.
Zeti’s husband and two sons have, in fact, admitted to knowing about the money in statutory declarations signed in March last year. The money was in the accounts of Cutting Edge Industries in Singapore and the three admitted to being the beneficial owners of the accounts.
The statutory declarations, sighted by FMT, has been certified to be authentic by the attesting lawyers.
The revelations in the SD came when the portal MalaysiaToday, run by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, claimed that Zeti’s husband and sons received over RM100 million in funds from fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal.
The claims were backed by the statutory declarations in which Zeti’s husband and sons admitted receiving funds in their Singapore bank accounts. The money came from a company linked to Jho Low.
Najib himself has taken to Facebook to press Zeti for answers claiming that it was Zeti who recommended him to open a bank account under his name and not Umno’s to receive “Arab donations”. He also claimed that he had asked her to monitor his account for suspicious transactions.
In July 2018, Zeti had denied Najib’s claims that she was aware of the RM2.6 billion, which Najib said was a donation from the Saudi royal family to the government, going into his personal account.
Najib has demanded an explanation from Zeti, claiming that the then central bank governor was the one who advised him to open a personal account to receive the money.
“How can the BNM governor not know when billions are transferred to the prime minister’s account as every large transaction requires BNM’s approval?” Najib asked in a Facebook post.
The SD, meanwhile, states that Zeti’s husband and sons had agreed to a settlement with the Singapore government to return the money in their accounts to 1MDB in return for Singapore dropping investigations. Section 370 of the Singapore Criminal Procedure Code, which governs seizure of property, was referred to in the SD.
Zeti’s husband Dr Tawfiq Ayman and sons, Abdul Aziz and Alif Ayman Aziz, run the accounts under Cutting Edge Industries Ltd, based in Singapore.
According to the MalaysiaToday expose, the money in the accounts came from Iron Rhapsody Ltd, which was established to receive money from Jho Low. The registered owners of Iron Rhapsody are allegedly Zeti’s husband and her two sons.
Besides Najib, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and the National Patriot Association have all asked Zeti to explain the matter.